Hybrid working: wellbeing and inclusion
In early 2020, the higher education (HE) sector had to react to unprecedented change and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic. The so-called ‘pivot to online’ (Salmon, 2020) forced emergency ways of working on university campus-based staff in an attempt to continue educating students while physical attendance at lectures, seminars, etc. were not permitted. Many higher education institutions (HEIs) took the opportunity to reflect on how these emergency practices and policies could or should evolve into a planned and proactive approach to working in a hybrid environment. This process of reflection included a greater focus on the wellbeing and inclusion of staff and students, which considered:
- the impact – positive and negative – of digital practices adopted as a result of forced home working
- employee expectations around office-based working
- assumptions about how university campus facilities and systems are managed and used.
Why is wellbeing and inclusion so important in a higher-education context? Barbara Bassa, a Programme Director at Advance HE, explains:
There is no argument about the fact that the quality of student experience at university starts with the quality of the services provided by the university staff: academics and professional support staff. In order for all staff to provide these quality experiences, they need to feel well and supported themselves. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
This free course is part of the.It was developed with funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), the public body operating between the Welsh Government and higher education providers. The course encourages you to consider your own development as an individual, and as a manager or leader, if that is part of your role.
While it focuses on the Welsh national context and higher education sector, the principles and considerations covered in this course can be applied to other nations and industries/organisations.